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Punky East Bay music duo proves “rhythm is all you need”

A Street Eaters disc was sent to The Campanil one day in the not too distant past with a note attached requesting a review. The note explained that band member Megan March is a Mills College alumna and it was signed by an unknown fellow named Rich.

Always on the lookout for new music, particularly of the local persuasion, I eagerly snapped up the opportunity to discover what this East Bay duo had to offer. So I popped the disc into my CD player and gave the album a couple of listens while driving back to my hometown one weekend.

Admittedly, I was not all that impressed upon first listen.

The only thing I could hear were the unpolished vocals that, for some odd reason, made me wonder whether or not this is what it would sound like if Joanna Newsom combined vocal forces with a dying sea otter, started a punk band and forgot to add a guitar to the mix.

Or maybe Joanna and Mr. Otter just forgot the guitarist on the side of the road somewhere in New Mexico.

OK, maybe that last bit may have been slightly exaggerated, but the point is that I wasn’t a fan at first. I chalk this temporary lapse in judgement up to the fact that while riding in my car, one can either hear the gentle vibrations of nearly blown-out speakers or the smooth, cascading sounds of every vehicle on the road as I whizz past at 85 mph.

Not only is my car not competent in the fine art of outside noise cancellation, but I am pretty sure I was talking on my cell phone for a large portion of the drive. Basically, I just wasn’t listening.

When I got off the phone and out of the car, I decided to give the Street Eaters a fair chance.  I found that I legitimately enjoyed the raw vocals and lo-fi quality recording of this band made up of one part Megan March on drums and vocals, and one part Johnny Geek on bass and vocals.
It was refreshing to hear a bass and drum band whose sound leans more towards punk and less towards the noise side that is common amongst acts like Lightning Bolt. Somehow, We See Monsters even manages to be catchy, while their MySpace page declares they are “not looking for a guitarist, because rhythm is all you need.”

Though the EP only contains six songs, I found it difficult to choose my favorites.

I managed to narrow it down to four, with the opening and middle tracks, “Blackwater” and “I Am The Running Dog” ranking in the top two.

I would definitely recommend We See Monsters if you like two-piece punk bands that most people probably have not heard of.